Guide on how to install .XMP Lightroom presets

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

The Lightroom starting from version 7.3 has presented a new version of presets changing their file type from .Irtemplate to .XMP which might be quite confusing.

Previously ".XMP" file type was used by Camera Raw only and Lightroom used ".Irtemplate", now they both use ".XMP". After updating to the Lightroom version 7.3 or higher all your old presets are automatically converted to .XMP format, so you don’t have to worry about it. The only question you might have is how to import/install these .XMP presets to Lightroom? Let me guide you through this pretty straightforward process.

Good to know! There are 2 different “filter” formats being Lightroom Presets and Lightroom Profiles. Both change the way your image looks like but they have some differences in how they do this. Presets can override your original develop settings you applied to an image (for example preset can change a white balance or an exposure you did before applying a preset) which might slightly ruin your workflow but you are able to amend all the changes that were done by a preset.

Sometimes people ask if it’s possible to amend the opacity of the preset, and the answer is – YES but only with the help of additional 3rd party plugins like “The Fater” or “OPAL” (to be honest, I didn’t try them but other photographers say it works).

In comparison to presets, the Lightroom Profiles don’t touch your develop settings but apply separately colour grading. The downside of profiles is that you basically can’t change them, but you can easily control the opacity and doing so you can change they way your final image will look like.

How to install/import Lightroom .XMP presets

1) Open Lightroom

2) Click “Develop” module

3) Select "Presets" tab on the left and click “+”

4) Click “Import Presets”

5) Select the presets you want to upload

That’s it! Now you can find the preset in your preset tab on the left under “User Preset” unless your installed preset has created a separate folder in the preset tab. By the way, so that you know – despite new Lightroom version you can still install. Irtemplate presets and do it the same way I described above.

If you still don't see the preset, 1st – try to reset the Lightroom, 2nd – look carefully in the preset tab on the left, sometimes the preset name can be changed by Lightroom and you might have simply overlooked it, 3rd – if nothing helps, it might be you have installed not a preset but a profile. See below where to find profiles.

How to install/import Lightroom .XMP profiles

1) Open Lightroom

2) Click “Develop” module

3) Select Profile Browser in the right tab

4) Click “+” and then “Import Profiles”

5) Select the presets you want to upload

Well done! Your profile is now showing up in the Profile Browser, just scroll down. ANd again, if nothing shows up - try to restart the Lightroom.

I hope it was helpful!

If you’re interested in presets that I use, you can check my small preset shop.

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